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Winnipeg Withdraws as Host of 2020 North America Continental OutGames

(Winnipeg, MB; August 10, 2017) – After careful review of the cancellation of the 2017 Miami World OutGames, the 2020 North America OutGames Planning Committee (Planning Committee) has decided to withdraw Winnipeg as host of the 2020 North America OutGames.

“With the incident that happened in Miami this past June and how the athletes were treated, we feel that we are no longer in a positon to deliver an exceptional experience for LGBTTQ* athletes under the OutGames banner ” said Jonathan Niemczak Chair of the 2020 North America OutGames Planning Committee. “The Planning Committee is very disappointed with how the cancellation of the Miami World OutGames unfolded, and as a result, we cannot support going forward with hosting an OutGames event”.

Winnipeg will still be hosting the Fierté Canada | Canada Pride Festival in 2020 and the Planning Committee is redirecting the efforts that went into the 2020 OutGames to produce a new Canadian LGBTTQ* multi-sporting event.

“We had tons of positive feedback and excitement when we announced our winning bid for the 2020 North America OutGames, and we want to carry forward that momentum” said Niemczak. “The Planning Committee is exploring a new national LGBTTQ* multi-sporting event that will form a piece of the 2020 Fierté Canada Pride celebrations. More information on this event will be released in early 2018”.

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Pride Winnipeg 30th Anniversary Theme Revealed

(Winnipeg, MB; April 19, 2017) – Pride Winnipeg is thrilled to announce its theme for the 30th Anniversary Pride Winnipeg Festival: “Resurgence: Taking Back Space”. The theme is a call to action and a reminder for everyone in the community that while the LGBTTQ* community has made great strides over the past 30 years, there is still much more to be done to ensure that we do not stop advocating for those who continue to face discrimination and social exclusion.

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The term Resurgence is defined as: a rising again into life, activity, or prominence. Over the past decades, The Pride movement evolved from one of protest and demonstration, to one of celebration. However, the celebration has mainly been for Lesbian and Gay individuals, while our Bisexual, Trans-Identified, Two-Spirit, Non-Binary, Queer and Queer People of Colour communities have not yet felt the same progress and desire for celebration of equality. Furthermore, they have continued to be subjected to both unintentional and intentional discrimination from society and fellow members of the community.

“I have had trailblazers before me who have made it ok for me to be me and be out at work and in my community but I haven’t taken on the responsibility of being a trailblazer for those in our community who still need it the most.”

 – Feedback from middle-aged Caucasian gay male at a Pride Winnipeg community consultation.

As we reflect on the 30th anniversary of the first Pride March in Winnipeg, it is important that we refocus our efforts to ensure that no members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-Identified, Two-Spirit and Queer (LGBTTQ*) community are left behind. Our theme, Resurgence: Taking Back Space is one part of our effort to increase the safety, accessibility, diversity and inclusiveness of Pride Winnipeg’s activities. Other initiatives include:

  • Our Governance Board Member positions have been designated for individuals self-identifying as part of traditionally socially excluded group within the LGBTTQ* community, including but not limited to: Female-Identified, Trans-Identified, Queer and Trans People of Colour, Indigenous or Two-Spirited, 55+, people living with disabilities, Non-Binary, etc.;
  • Our Resurgence Fund, providing financial support to community group events throughout Pride week;
  • Our Parade Grant program providing free entry to a number of groups who demonstrate financial hardship; and
  • We have made space available at no cost at the Festival at the Forks for groups who want to promote diversity and inclusiveness.

Most importantly, we commit to listen and integrate the voices of individuals and groups from all facets of the community, as we strive to make Pride Winnipeg activities a safe and welcoming space for all.

Pride Winnipeg will be formally launching the theme this evening at 7pm at the West End Cultural Centre. The theme launch is a free event that is open to the public and will include pizza and a show from Like That of Sunshine House. Media are welcome to attend.

 The Pride Winnipeg 30th Anniversary Festival runs from May 26th to June 4th with events throughout the community. A two-day Festival at the Forks will take place on June 3rd and 4th from 12pm to 7pm. Our 30th Anniversary Pride Parade will take place on June 4th, 2017 in the heart of downtown Winnipeg. The parade route starts on Memorial Avenue and York Avenue and will proceed to Portage Avenue and run through the city’s most important intersection, Portage & Main, for this historic milestone in our community.

Pride Winnipeg – The Pride of the Prairies – is one of the largest celebrations between Toronto and Vancouver of LGBTTQ* (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, questioning, intersex, and pansexual) people and their allies, supporters and friends. Our mission is to affirm the lives of everyone by generating and participating in events that celebrate the history, culture, spirit and pride of people within the Winnipeg community.

Pride Winnipeg 30th Anniversary Parade Marshals Announced

(Winnipeg, MB; April 11, 2017) – Pride Winnipeg is pleased to announce the 30th Anniversary Pride Parade Marshals. This year’s marshals were nominated by the community and embody the spirit of the Pride Festival as well as our focus in advancing diversity and inclusiveness of the Pride movement in Winnipeg.

“As we reflect on the 30th anniversary of the first Pride March in Winnipeg, it is important that we refocus our efforts to ensure that no members of the LGBTTQ* community are left behind,” said Jonathan Niemczak, President of Pride Winnipeg. “Our 2017 marshals bring together the leaders of advocacy efforts of the past 30 years with a new generation of leaders for the continued advocacy efforts needed in the future.”

Grand Marshal – Kelly Houle

Kelly Houle was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She’s the 18th International Two Spirit Princess. She is a member of Like That @ Sunshine House and Sage House, a peer at 595 Prevention Team, and Co-Director of Two-Spirited People of Manitoba.

Youth Marshal – Mason Godwalt

Mason Godwalt is an 18-year-old transgender youth with a passion for advocacy. At 17, Mason came out as transgender which was the hardest but most rewarding thing of their life.  A few shorts month after coming out, Mason got in touch with a local publisher, and produced a book “We Are Valid” which is 30+ transgender youths’ stories from all around the world. Mason also sits on the Board of Steinbach Pride and ran the SRSS Gay Straight Alliance to continue to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community

30th Anniversary Marshals – Albert McLeod and Joel Sarbit

Albert McLeod is a Status Indian with ancestry from Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and the Metis community of Norway House in northern Manitoba. He has over twenty years of experience as a human rights activist and is one of the directors of the Two-Spirited People of Manitoba. In the summer of 1987, community activists were in Manitoba’s Legislative Building advocating for the inclusion of “sexual orientation” in the Manitoba Human Rights Code. When the amendment passed, the 1st Annual Lesbian and Gay Pride Day march, was organized by Gerry Brydon and others as a celebration of this important legislation. Albert, as a member of the LGBT New Freedom AA Group (the Sobriety Group) marched that day, August 2nd, 1987. Albert lives in Winnipeg, where he works as a consultant specializing in HIV/AIDS and Aboriginal peoples, Aboriginal cultural reclamation, and cross-cultural training. www.albertmcleod.com

Joel Sarbit was born and raised in Winnipeg’s North End. He was Vice President of St. John’s High School in his senior year, 1970.  He came out at 16 years old to become an active member of Winnipeg’s growing out LGBT community. He was a founding member of the gay and lesbian club, Happenings, and also sat on the Board of Directors for a couple years in the mid 1980’s. He has attended every Pride celebration in Winnipeg from the very first one in 1987.  Joel purchased Club 200 in 1992, and along with his partner Allen Morrison, they will be celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Club 200 next spring.  Through his role as a member of Happenings and owning Club 200, Joel has and continues to support many charities and organizations vital to the Winnipeg LGBT community.

The 30th Anniversary Pride Parade will take place on June 4th, 2017 in the heart of downtown Winnipeg. The parade route starts on Memorial Avenue and York Avenue and will proceed to Portage Avenue and run through the city’s most important intersection, Portage & Main, for this historic milestone in our community. The 30th Anniversary Parade route will follow in the footsteps of the original Pride March that took place in 1987. A rally at the Manitoba Legislature will begin at 10am immediately followed by the parade at 11am.

 Pride Winnipeg – The Pride of the Prairies – is one of the largest celebrations between Toronto and Vancouver of LGBTTQ* (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, questioning, intersex, and pansexual) people and their allies, supporters and friends. Our mission is to affirm the lives of everyone by generating and participating in events that celebrate the history, culture, spirit and pride of people within the Winnipeg community.

For more information about the Pride Winnipeg please visit www.pridewinnipeg.com.

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Winnipeg to host Fierté Canada | Canada Pride 2020

(Winnipeg, MB; March 1, 2017) – Pride Winnipeg Festival will play hosts to Fierté Canada | Canada Pride 2020. On the heels of its recent win of the 2020 North America OutGames, Pride Winnipeg was selected by the delegation of Canadian Pride organizers at the 2017 Fierté Canada Pride Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia to host the national event. This will be the 2nd edition of Fierté Canada | Canada Pride, with Fierté Montreal Pride hosting the inaugural this year from August 10 to 20.

“With Winnipeg hosting both the 2020 North America OutGames and Fierté Canada | Canada Pride 2020 we will be the central place to advocate and celebrate LGBTTQ* human rights and freedoms in 2020 on the continent” says Jonathan Niemczak, President of Pride Winnipeg Festival and the Chair of the 2020 North America OutGames and Fierté Canada | Canada Pride Organizing Committee.

Fierté Canada | Canada Pride 2020 will run in tandem with the 2020 North America OutGames and 2020 Pride Winnipeg Festival from July 16 to 27, 2020. The Pride Winnipeg Festival, which normally runs the last week of May and first week of June, will move to July for 2020 to coincide with the two major events.

Fierté Canada | Canada Pride is a national festival to highlight the diversity of not only the entire country, but also the city in which the festival is held.  Every three years, a Canadian city will highlight what the pride movement in Canada truly represents.

“The team at Pride Winnipeg is committed to building on what looks to be an amazing event in Montréal August 10-20.  Fierté Canada | Canada Pride 2020 will be a powerful celebration of queer and trans culture as we discover – nous sommes #BrightLights ensemble” said Heather Hay, President of Fierté Canada Pride at the National Conference and AGM in Halifax.

Economic Development Winnipeg once again supported Pride Winnipeg through their Bring It Home program on the bid for Fierté Canada | Canada Pride 2020.

“Teaming up with Jonathan again through Economic Development Winnipeg’s Bring It Home program has resulted in another wonderful opportunity to shine a light on our city as we showcase the LGBTTQ* community at the local and national levels in July 2020,” said Dayna Spiring, president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. “Adding Fierté Canada | Canada Pride 2020 to an already ambitious schedule of events that includes the OutGames, the Pride Winnipeg Festival and a human rights conference, making it the year’s biggest combined celebration of its kind in North America, gives everyone involved the chance to experience Winnipeg’s renowned hospitality as they explore our city and engage in the full slate of complementary festivities.”

Pride Winnipeg – The Pride of the Prairies – is one of the largest celebrations between Toronto and Vancouver of LGBTTQ* (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, questioning, intersex, and pansexual) people and their allies, supporters and friends. Our mission is to affirm the lives of everyone by generating and participating in events that celebrate the history, culture, spirit and pride of people within the Winnipeg community. We invite everyone from far and wide to join our welcoming city and celebrate Pride in Winnipeg – the heart of the continent.

For more information about the Pride Winnipeg please visit www.pridewinnipeg.com.

Fierté Canada Pride (FCP) – is a non-profit national association of Canadian Pride organizations that was founded in 2004. Powered by volunteers from across the country, Fierté Canada Pride’s membership is made up of Pride organizations from almost every region of Canada. Fierté Canada Pride’s mission is to help build vibrant and strong Canadian Pride organizations through collaborating, offering support, networking, helping to develop a national identity of Pride, and offering resources and advocacy for its members. FCP is an advocate for over 1.2 million Canadians who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ). Fierté Canada Pride is also a proud member of InterPride, the international association of Pride organizations.

For more information about FCP please visit www.fiertecanadapride.org.

Canada Pride Montréal 2017 – is the first edition of Canada Pride being hosted Montréal Pride from August 11 to 20, 2017, as a nation-wide celebration of Canada’s LGBT movement, reaffirming the position of Montréal and of Canada as leaders in LGBT rights. Montréal Pride, the largest Pride festival in the Francophone world, will host the festive and inspiring ten-day event to welcome Canada and the world to Montréal as it marks the 375th anniversary of the city’s founding and the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation.

For more information about Canada Pride Montréal 2017 please visit www.fiertemontrealpride.com.

Economic Development Winnipeg (EDW) Bring It Home program – is a program that encourages local business and community leaders to advocate Winnipeg as the city of choice for national and international meetings and conventions. Since its inception in 2012, Bring It Home has helped facilitate 106 meetings, bringing more than 41,000 delegates to Winnipeg and generating estimated direct spending of $44 million.

For more information about EDW’s Bring It Home program please visit www.economicdevelopmentwinnipeg.com/why-winnipeg/bring-it-home-program.

 

Pride Winnipeg 30th Anniversary Parade Moves to Portage Ave.

(Winnipeg, MB; December 2, 2016) – Pride Winnipeg is thrilled to announce that our 30th Anniversary Parade route on June 4th, 2017 will take place in the heart of downtown Winnipeg. With approval from the Pride Winnipeg Membership and the City of Winnipeg, the 2017 Pride Winnipeg Parade will take place on Portage Avenue and run through the city’s most important intersection, Portage & Main, for this historic milestone in our community.

The 30th Anniversary Parade route will follow in the footsteps of the original Pride March that took place in 1987. This expanded and more prominent route signals that Winnipeg is at the forefront of celebrating and advocating for the LGBTTQ* community. Pride Winnipeg’s 30th Anniversary will also provide the opportunity for newer generations to learn about the history of the Pride movement in our city.

 

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The 30th Anniversary Parade & Rally will take place on Sunday, June 4, 2017 and kick off with the Rally on the steps of the Legislature followed by the Parade starting nearby on Memorial Boulevard. From Memorial Boulevard, the Parade will head Eastbound on Portage Avenue and end near Shaw Park and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

In early 2017, Pride Winnipeg will be providing further details on efforts to increase accessibility and inclusiveness of all of our programming. This will include a program to help groups with limited means to participate fully in the 30th Anniversary Parade. Applications to enter in the 30th Anniversary Parade will open on our website in January 2017.

Pride WinnipegThe Pride of the Prairies – is one of the largest celebrations between Toronto and Vancouver of LGBTTQ* (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, questioning, intersex, and pansexual) people and their allies, supporters and friends. Our mission is to affirm the lives of everyone by generating and participating in events that celebrate the history, culture, spirit and pride of people within the Winnipeg community.

Winnipeg to host the North America Continental OutGames in 2020

(Winnipeg, MB; November 28, 2016) – Look out, Winnipeg! OutGames is coming to the city for the first time. Following a competitive bidding process to attract this high-profile sport-tourism event, the board and membership of the Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association (GLISA) for North America is pleased to announce Winnipeg will serve as hosts of the North America Continental OutGames in July 2020. Held every three years, the Winnipeg games should attract about 850 participants and generate an estimated economic impact of $4.3 million for Manitoba.

OutGames’ ambitious agenda features more than a dozen sports, a three-day conference focusing on LGBTTQ* and diversity rights, and a multiday culture showcase held in conjunction with the annual Pride celebration. Sports will include runs, net sports, aquatics and other unique activities like a fishing derby.

“Winnipeg is an amazing city, and I’m convinced it’s the perfect place to present our wonderful signature event,” said Greg Larocque, president of GLISA North America. “The chance to welcome conference attendees to the iconic Canadian Museum for Human Rights and to highlight exciting sports throughout the city, all tied together by a culture celebration linked to Winnipeg’s extraordinary Pride festivities, is an opportunity too good to miss.”

Set against the backdrop of one of the largest Pride celebrations between Vancouver and Toronto, leading local OutGames advocate and president of Pride Winnipeg Jonathan Niemczak is thrilled to introduce participants to Winnipeg’s LGBTTQ* and local communities. Winnipeg is a jewel among the Prairies, with an active and diverse LGBTTQ* community, and he’s excited to welcome guests from all over to experience Winnipeg for themselves.

“OutGames activities occurring jointly with the annual Pride celebrations include an athlete’s space at The Forks, a fireworks display, music, poetry, dance and visual arts, and a moment of silence to honour those lost due to homophobia and transphobia,” said Niemczak. “I’m looking forward to showing off our city to its best possible advantage, and I’m grateful for the assistance Economic Development Winnipeg (EDW) staff and its Bring It Home program provided in helping to secure this important event.”

EDW’s Bring It Home program encourages local business and community leaders to advocate Winnipeg as the city of choice for national and international meetings and conventions. Since its inception in 2012, Bring It Home has helped facilitate 96 meetings, bringing more than 36,000 delegates to Winnipeg and generating estimated direct spending of $39 million.

“EDW is committed to ensuring local influencers are given the support needed to attract milestone events to our city,” said Dayna Spiring, president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. “We’re pleased to have partnered with Jonathan in convincing GLISA North America that Winnipeg is an ideal setting for its upcoming OutGames, and I know his passion to champion our city to locals and LGBTTQ* visitors alike will help everyone involved take another step toward inclusion and acceptance for all.”

The successful proposal can be viewed on the GLISA North America and GLISA International websites in the coming days.

Pride Winnipeg – The Pride of the Prairies – is one of the largest celebrations between Toronto and Vancouver of LGBTTQ* (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, questioning, intersex, and pansexual) people and their allies, supporters and friends. Our mission is to affirm the lives of everyone by generating and participating in events that celebrate the history, culture, spirit and pride of people within the Winnipeg community. We invite everyone from far and wide to join our welcoming city and celebrate Pride in Winnipeg – the heart of the continent.

For more information about the Pride Winnipeg please visit www.pridewinnipeg.com.

GLISA North America – is the independently governed continental affiliate of GLISA International, whose mission is to advance equality in sports and level the playing field for LGBTTQ* members. Founded in 2006 to provide stewardship for the North America OutGames, the volunteer-based organization has become the leading advocate exploring inequalities that persist at the intersection of sports, culture and human rights, culminating in such recent successes as the Pride House initiatives and the global boycott of Russia’s homophobic hostility towards its LGBTTQ* citizens. To date, its membership is a combination of more than 80 sports, culture and human rights organizations throughout the United States and Canada.

For more information about GLISA North America please visit www.glisana.com.

North America OutGames – first hosted in Calgary in 2007, is among the largest gathering of LGBTTQ* athletes and activists in the world. Uniquely modeled as a multiday quadrennial festival with organized competitions for approximately a dozen sports, a human rights conference and community-wide cultural events, the North America OutGames is now in its third edition, scheduled to be Winnipeg, Canada, during the summer of 2020.

Statement on Pride Winnipeg’s Commitment to Working with Our Community to Make Pride More Inclusive, Safe, Diverse and Accessible

(Winnipeg, MB; July 21, 2016) – Pride Winnipeg is committed to making our organization and all of our activities more inclusive, safe, diverse and accessible. To accomplish this, Pride Winnipeg is engaging with various members and groups of our community to receive feedback and discuss ways we can address concerns in order to improve as an organization. We’ve also reflected on our past and acknowledge that we haven’t always handled challenging situations up to the standard that we are striving to achieve, such as staying silent on incidents of racism in our community and not providing support to the Queer and Trans People of Colour (QTPOC) in their time of need. We apologise for past inactions and we are committed to supporting QTPOC and speaking out against acts that are harmful to members of our community.

Over the last 29 years, Pride has evolved from a small march down Memorial Boulevard, to a massive parade and festival celebrating LGBTTQ* rights and equality. Although Pride’s focus in recent years has turned toward celebration, we must acknowledge that many members of our community are still fighting to be heard and certain communities and voices are being left behind. Pride Winnipeg is committed to working with QTPOC, the Indigenous and Two-Spirited community and persons with accessibility challenges to ensure their voices are heard.

As a first step of many to come, Pride Winnipeg is expressing support for the action taken by Black Lives Matter (BLM) Toronto and is committed to working with the Manitoba QTPOC community to make all Pride Winnipeg activities more inclusive, safe, diverse and accessible. Pride Winnipeg will be holding a community session with QTPOC members of our community to review the demands made by BLM Toronto and explore ways we can adapt them for our Pride activities in Winnipeg. We also encourage all QTPOC to reach out to us (see ways you can reach us below) to share ideas and recommendations on how we can better serve all members of our community.

While we cannot change our past, we can acknowledge our failures and take action to create a positive future. Pride Winnipeg is excited and grateful for the opportunity to work with our community on making our Pride a Pride for all.

You can reach Pride Winnipeg with feedback or to request a meeting in the following ways:

Pride Winnipeg – The Pride of the Prairies – is one of the largest celebrations between Toronto and Vancouver of LGBTTQ* (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual) people and their allies, supporters and friends. Our mission is to affirm the lives of everyone by generating and participating in events that celebrate the history, culture, spirit and pride of people within the Winnipeg community. We invite everyone from far and wide to join our welcoming city and celebrate Pride in Winnipeg – the heart of the continent.

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Statement Concerning the Pulse Nightclub Shooting in Orlando

(Winnipeg, MB; June 12, 2016) – On the heels of a successful Pride celebration, Pride Winnipeg is shocked and saddened by this morning’s killing and wounding of over 100 individuals attending the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, many of whom are part of the LGBTTQ* community. While Orlando is over 3,000 kilometres away, the collective heart of Winnipeg’s LGBTTQ* community dropped as news broke of this senseless act of violence.

While mass shootings against the LGBTTQ* community is rare in North America, it serves as a sobering reminder for the need for advocacy, education and celebration in communities locally and around the World. In Florida, the unconstitutionality of the ban on same-sex marriage was reaffirmed by a judge only a few months ago on March 31, 2016 after the State Government’s reluctance to take action in supporting equal rights for same-sex couples.

Government and lawmaker actions provide a framework for LGBTTQ* rights, however, true social change comes from the ground-up with individuals standing up for equality and inclusiveness. For example, today, the Ukrainian LGBTTQ* community bravely came together to hold its first ever Pride march in Kiev, which took place without violence. Closer to home, local community members took the initiative to create Steinbach Pride and will be hosting their first-ever Pride March on July 9th. Following this weekend’s violence, it is our hope that the Florida community remains strong by banding together to create a groundswell for true social change as a follow-up to the ruling on same-sex marriage.

vigil

Pride Winnipeg will be holding a vigil on the steps of the Manitoba Legislature on Monday, June 13th at 8:30 pm as an act of solidarity and tribute to the Orlando LGBTTQ* community. We invite all Manitobans who believe in equality to join us.

Pride Winnipeg – The Pride of the Prairies – is one of the largest celebrations between Toronto and Vancouver of LGBTTQ* (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, questioning, intersex, and pansexual) people and their allies, supporters and friends. Our mission is to affirm the lives of everyone by generating and participating in events that celebrate the history, culture, spirit and pride of people within the Winnipeg community. We invite everyone from far and wide to join our welcoming city and celebrate Pride in Winnipeg – the heart of the continent.

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Statement Concerning the Hanover School Division and LGBTTQ* Information in Classrooms

(Winnipeg, MB; April 18, 2016) – In response to the recent presentation to the Hanover School Division’s (HSD) board of trustees regarding the teaching of LGBTTQ* information in classrooms, Pride Winnipeg would like to officially state its support for the implementation of a policy similar to the Winnipeg School Division’s diversity and equity education policy within the HSD.

It is important to clarify that although Michelle McHale is a member of the Pride Winnipeg Board of Directors, she brought forward these concerns to the HSD on her own accord in a personal capacity. However, given the public engagement surrounding this initiative, we feel that it is important for Pride Winnipeg to speak out on this matter and support Michelle’s efforts.

Children who are raised or educated in an environment that is unsupportive or silent on LGBTTQ* issues are being sheltered from how the world has evolved to become more open and accepting. These children could end up being a bully or they could end up being an LGBTTQ* child who is bullied or too afraid to be themselves. What’s worse is that espousing intolerant views around LGBTTQ* children or those with LGBTTQ* parents can lead to trauma, mental health issues or in some cases suicide:

· A 2009 study indicated that “lesbian, gay and bisexual young adults who reported higher levels of family rejection during adolescence were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs…compared with peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection”.[1]

· A 2011 study of grade 11 youth revealed: “Among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth, the risk of attempting suicide was 20% greater in unsupportive environments compared to supportive environments. A more supportive social environment was significantly associated with fewer suicide attempts…”[2]

As adults we have an obligation to put the safety and wellbeing of children above all else, including when the protection of a child is at odds with one’s own personal beliefs. Selflessly setting aside personal views for the greater good of protecting children can have powerful and positive consequences:

· “Family acceptance in adolescence is associated with young adult positive health outcomes (self-esteem, social support, and general health) and is protective for negative health outcomes (depression, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation and attempts).[3]
· “Providing education about gender expression and LGBT issues to students, administrators, staff, and teachers is another key strategy for increasing safety in schools.”[4]

Pride Winnipeg calls on the HSD board of trustees to demonstrate leadership, set aside any conflicting personal beliefs, and put the best interests of our children first by instituting a more proactive, open, and accepting environment in relation to educating children about LGBTTQ* issues. It is up to us as parents, caregivers, aunts, uncles, educators, mentors and role models to do the right thing. Our children should expect nothing less from each of us.

Pride Winnipeg – The Pride of the Prairies – is one of the largest celebrations between Toronto and Vancouver of LGBTTQ* (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, questioning, intersex, and pansexual) people and their allies, supporters and friends. Our mission is to affirm the lives of everyone by generating and participating in events that celebrate the history, culture, spirit and pride of people within the Winnipeg community. We invite everyone from far and wide to join our welcoming city and celebrate Pride in Winnipeg – the heart of the continent.


 

[1] Ryan, Caitlin et. al. “Family Rejection as a Predictor of Negative Health Outcomes in White and Latino Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Young Adults”. Pediatrics. Volume 123. Issue 1. January 2009.

2 Hatzenbuehler, Mark L. “The Social Environment and Suicide Attempts in Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Youth”. Pediatrics. Volume 127. Issue 5. May 2011.

3 Ryan, Caitlin et. al. “Family Acceptance in Adolescence and the Health of LGBT Young Adults”. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing. Volume 23. Number 4. November 2010.

4 Toomey, Russell et. al. “Gender-Nonconforming Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth: School Victimization and Young Adult Psychosocial Adjustment”. Developmental Psychology. Vol. 46. No.6. 2010.

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2016 Theme Reveal – #beauthentic at the Pride Winnipeg Festival!

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You can #beauthentic at the 2016 Pride Winnipeg Festival!

Pride Winnipeg is thrilled to announce its theme for the 2016 Pride Winnipeg Festival: “Be Authentic.” The theme is a call to action for everyone to, without reservation, be their true, authentic selves every day.

Despite the legal barriers for equal recognition that the LGBTTQ* (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, questioning, pansexual, intersex, asexual) community has overcome in the last decade, there continues to be social stigmas that either discriminate against LGBTTQ* people or prevent individuals from coming out and openly identifying.

“No matter your gender identity, sexual orientation, age, race, abilities, culture; be real, be true, be outspoken, be a person who affects change, be someone who lives each day unapologetically,” said Jonathan Niemczak, President of Pride Winnipeg. “The Pride Festival is a safe place for anyone to be themselves. No judgements, no negativity; just be your authentic self.”

Festival-goers also have more Pride time to look forward to with the free Outdoor Concert & Festival at The Forks being extended to 8:00 pm on both Saturday and Sunday evenings of the Pride Day weekend.

“Year over year we’re seeing larger crowds at The Forks and to accommodate the demand we are increasing our operating hours,” explained Niemczak. “This increase will see all Pride Day weekend services extended right until 8:00 pm.”

The 2016 Pride Winnipeg Festival will take place from May 27 – June 5. During this time various community events and activities will be held across the city. The Pride Outdoor Concert & Festival at The Forks takes place from June 4 – 5. Pride Day, the day of the Rally and Parade, is June 5.

Check out our Festival page for more information about the Pride Winnipeg Festival, and like us on Facebook to stay up to date on Festival announcements.

Pride Winnipeg – The Pride of the Prairies – is one of the largest celebrations between Toronto and Vancouver of LGBTTQ* (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, questioning, intersex, pansexual, and asexual) people and their allies, supporters, and friends. We aim to affirm the lives of everyone by generating and participating in events that celebrate the history, culture, spirit, and pride of people within the Winnipeg community. We invite everyone from far and wide to join our welcoming city and celebrate Pride in Winnipeg – the heart of the continent.

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